Carnarvon Gorge to Brisbane

Friday 14 August 2020: Carnarvon Gorge to Roma : 263 km

1937, Coronation Hotel opens [today known as the “Injune Hotel”]
The Injune Railway Station operated from 1920 to 1967
Engine Number 158 was built in the Ipswich Railway Workshops in 1938
Ashley’s General Store in Injune had everything in 1936
The old Gunnewin Railway Siding on the Roma to Injune line

A pair of pretty birds in the Roma Bush Gardens
Roma Court House, 1901 – Federation colonial architecture at its best
Roma’s largest Bottle Tree, 9.1m girth, was already 100 years old when it was transplanted here in 1927
Dog waits faithfully in the back of his master’s ute outside the 1916 Queen’s Arms Hotel
The glassed turret of this classic early 20th century building was used as a lookout for enemy aircraft during World War II
Impressive brickwork on the Golders building in Roma
Wood walls shaded by wide verandahs, roof vented – perfect for the harsh western Queensland climate
Roma Saleyards is the largest cattle selling centre in Australia so we had to have beef

Saturday 15 August 2020: Roma to Chinchilla: 198 km

Before leaving Roma we went for a walk along Bungil Creek in the early morning …
… and spotted this white-necked heron
The Federal Hotel in Wallumbilla still stands pretty much unaltered from the original
Upstairs rooms $30 a night, air conditioning and shared bathroom
Camping beside Charleys Creek at Clover Hill Camping a kilometre out of Chinchilla
Steve, the owner of Clover Hill, made this huge campfire – he needed a tractor to pile on the wood …
… leaving coals perfect for making a breakfast damper to be enjoyed with butter and Golden Syrup
The historic Club Hotel (built 1907) is the only hotel in Chinchilla that has not burned down

Sunday 16 August 2020: Chinchilla to Bunya Mountains: 148 km

This was the Haystack State School from 1920 to 1968
The rambling Warra Hotel established in 1906 is a classic Queensland pub
St Columba’s Convent in Dalby was built 1913 for the Sisters of Mercy who occupied it until 1990

Monday 17 August 2020: Bunya Mountains

Bunya pines are found only in a small area in North Queensland and in the Bunya Mountains in southeast Queensland. Here massive groups of Aboriginal people came from hundreds of kilometres away to feast on the nuts. At 1,100 meters the Bunyas can be cold and windy. It was for the two days we were there.

Red-necked wallaby guarding our campervan in the Bunya Mountains
The Bunya pine is a unique Australian tree with an attractive symmetrical dome shape
Growing to 45 meters, they burst out of the rain forest canopy
Hand and foot holes that Aborigines used to climb the trees to harvest the nuts
The last Aboriginal Bunya Feast took place in the late 1800s
Bunya pine – straight trunk, branch-free for two-thirds of its height, leaves clustered at the ends
There’s a 10 km circuit walk from the open campground area that immediately plunges into dim, dark and moist rainforest protected from the wind
Sun struggles to reach the ground under the dense cover

Tuesday 18 August 2020: Bunya Mountains to Crows Nest: 105 km

Coomba Waterhole near Maidenwell
Grass Tree heaven at the Coomba Waterhole
Cooyar Hotel was originally a single story hotel built in 1903 but was rebuilt into a two storey in 1936
Heritage-listed Crows Nest Post Office was constructed in 1911
Since 1903, Crows Nest Soft Drinks has produced traditional flavoured soft drinks
We had to take a dozen of their double sarsaparilla
Want a hot shower at the Crows Nest NP Camping Grounds?
No problem, just light a fire under the donkey and put the hot water into the canvas shower bucket
Bottle Brush Pond, a short walk from the camping area in the Crows Nest NP
There are burnt out gum trees from December 2019 bush fires on the ridge above the Pond

Wednesday 19 August 2020: Crows Nest to Brisbane: 180 km

After a night in the Crows Nest Falls National Park we returned to Brisbane via Esk and Fernvale.

In 5 weeks we’ve driven more than 6,000 kilometres through outback Queensland. It was an epic road trip for us – across vast grassy plains, through remote sheep and cattle stations to the Channel Country, north to the Gulf of Carpentaria and east to the waterfalls of the Atherton Tablelands, and then south to the ancient rock art of Carnarvon Gorge.